As it is almost a year since Covid hit us, its effect is has created an embolic effect in our lives. Everything we do and how we do it has...
As it is almost a year since Covid hit us, its effect is has created an embolic effect in our lives. Everything we do and how we do it has changed.
I recently saw a meme (wish I had saved it) which put it perfectly. It reminded us that we would not be the people we are today if covid didn’t happened and I think this is very powerful. If we flip the narrative of how we see the way we experienced this past year — it can be a very powerful learning tool for how we live our lives now and we approach the future.
So as a result, I feel that music lessons structures need to look a little different as well. On Monday (Feb 22nd 10:30 am pacific), be sure to head over to our youtube Chanel to catch our first episode of “Musicking with Tea” where I discuss with Marion Samuel-Stevens the importance of building confidence in our students. One very important fact that Marion brought up is that online lessons move much slower than in person lessons and that is actually a good thing. Students can learn things more throughly and during uncertain times, it is essential.
We need to remember that our students are going through all sort of stresses and changes that we could never dream of at their ages. Yes, we are also experiencing the multifaceted effects of Covid in our lives but we have life experiences to understand, interpret, and interact with the changes that are happening. But our young students do not have that luxury.
One of the things that my studio has always acknowledged is the importance of mental health but I’m now focusing on making sure that my students really understand my open door philosophy in our studio. I’ve been very open with the fact that I will take mental health days and students are also allowed to reschedule lessons for a mental health rest. To help this work more smoothly, I have created specific “office hours” that students can move their lessons to. There no questions asked why except that if they need someone to talk to, I’m there for them and if they need a train professional – I can help them find that person as well.
The result – students are more open with their limitations. I often will receive a text/email about homework assignments that will limit their practicing time instead of “I didn’t practice this week” at their lessons where can be accomplished. Instead collectively, we are able to re-evaluate our timeline schedule for learning which in turn create a strong sense of responsibility in my students.
When I came up with this stucture in mid-April 2020, I have to be honest – I was worried that this might not have the best result for my students. It crossed my mind that maybe they would take advantage of it but the opposite has happened. It was a structure that happened organically and as a result students have been covering a lot more material and much more progress is being made even though we are all struggling with dealing with our current limitations and frustration during Covid. My students no longer feel that “no practice shame” and I do not feel necessary to become the “mean teacher” – that akward dance has been eliminated. Instead, we have create a much more symbiotic relationship with a common goals.
I can’t say enough as move forth in our recovery of Covid’s effect on our lives – it is perfect time to reflect, learn, and strength our communication skills with our students. There is so much negativity in our lives right now because of everything – this can be the positive outcome.